November 5, 2008
Myers Resigns from ICE
STATEMENT BY HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY MICHAEL CHERTOFF ON THE RESIGNATION OF THE
ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT
Assistant Secretary Julie Myers has announced that she will depart the department on Nov. 15. Julie has been an extraordinary Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and when she approached me in mid-September to discuss her departure, I knew this would be a loss for the department. Julie has been a major force in transforming ICE into a 21st century law enforcement agency.
Under Julie's leadership, ICE has undertaken exceptional law enforcement operations with unprecedented results. She has instituted and overseen several key law enforcement programs that have dramatically enhanced the department's efforts to curb illegal immigration and ensure strong enforcement of customs laws. ICE has set enforcement records for three consecutive fiscal years in criminal alien and fugitive arrests, worksite enforcement, and overall alien removals. She has implemented programs that have transformed how federal, state and local law enforcement work together, share information and enhance public safety. As a result, ICE has had a five-fold increase in the arrest of gang members and associates since 2005, as well as a four-fold increase in fugitive operations teams. These teams have arrested twice the number of fugitives as in fiscal year 2006, resulting in the first ever decline of the fugitive alien population.
Julie also led efforts to identify and charge criminal aliens incarcerated in our nation's prisons and jails, modernize the removal process and provide enhanced oversight for detention operations. She has focused significant attention on counter-proliferation investigations, resulting in a dramatic increase in convictions. She also instituted strong management practices within the agency, resulting in ICE receiving a clean financial audit opinion at the department level. ICE is performing the way that Congress envisioned when it was created over five years ago, in large part due to Julie Myers' service and leadership. These results speak volumes.
I am grateful for Julie's many contributions to the safety and security of our homeland, and I look forward to our continued friendship.
November 5, 2008 | Permalink
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Myers was a controversial head of ICE from the outset and the controversy increased over her tenure. See, e.g., http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration/2008/08/people-in-glass.html
Posted by: KJ | Nov 5, 2008 5:25:22 PM
While I don't know Julie Myers personally, nor could I say that I am familiar with the inner workings of her bureaucratic lever pulling at the department, I can't help but comment that it puzzles me how anyone could view ICE as emblematic of a "21st Century" law enforcement operation. Of course it's axiomatic that the 21st Century serves as an adjective to the subject because after all this is the year 2008, and the department under which ICE is organized was not formed until the beginning of our present century. I will infer that what you mean to say when you use the term 21st century is that ICE is a state of the art, or cutting edge, or forward thinking kindo of bureaucracy. It is none of these. It is a bloated gestapo.
Not only are its tactics brutal and inhuman strikes that result in the separation of innocent families, and the dehumanization of our immigrant neighbors, it is also an enormously expensive, wasteful welfare program for the military and security lobby. It combines the worst elements of cruelty and indifference of despotic tyrants together with the wasteful stupidity-cronyism of the most corrupted oligarchs.
Its statistics are meaningless. It is pointless to count the number of fugitive arrests and felony prosecutions. Everybody knows that they are arresting and locking up Guatemalan peasants on trumped up federal charges solely for the purpose of making the figures of criminal "alien" captures appear significant. Those are not aliens. Only fools think that aliens walk among us. There is not one shred of evidence that aliens have ever touched our soil, and the government that perpetuates the funding and expansion of quasi-military operations in our towns and cities to deal with imaginary beings is a danger to the liberty of every man, woman and child among us.
Many will argue that the aliens do exist, that it is legal term of art, of course, and that "we have to do something about them otherwise..." and then on, and on, and on into an infinite regression of mindless imperatives and stupid policies. There are a very large number of people who live here currently who did not have the U.S. Government's permission before they decided to join us. All of them are here for a reason. All of them have reason - that human ability to make calculated choices with the assistance of abstract conceptions. We are not objects.
The lack of legal permission is a burden to be sure, but those of you who have not lived as we have lived would be shocked to see how welcoming this Nation is and the opportunities that are still available despite the obstacles. We are a tenacious multitude, and even with the U.S. economy losing jobs and money, we are still finding our way here and clinging to the foothold we have gained. There is no self-deportation movement out here. You may as well ask us to get back on our spaceships. It's not that the places we came from are all so bad, but rather that we know how to make it here better. Even better than many who enjoy the privileges of citizenship. Our reasons for joining ourselves to America are compelling. We will not pack up and go peacefully with our heads hung in shame, or tremble at the site of agents in sunglasses and mustaches pinning our neighbors on their lawn while their children cry. There is humiliation, and there is discouragement, and poverty, and ansia to hear our own voices, but these do not push us to the shores and across the border. They impel us forward to continue the crossing. We have left other shores and hometowns to make the journey here. We would not have done it if we expected failure, and we will not concede to failure because some say we must. Far more want us here, want us to succeed, want us to glory in pride for this country and to enjoy the fruits of what together have sown and reaped in these fields.
If you believe that ICE can accomplish its stated task of removing people who came here illegally, then you may as well believe in aliens and lift your eyes into space. Please do, so that your delusions won't cost the rest of us any money, or our beloved freedoms. To praise the woman who has headed up this hopelessly misguided venture into fascism we have endured these last several years is funny. It's like praising Don Quixote for his courage. I don't care if she is a good person, or really knows how to manage efficiently, or how clean her financial audit opinions are at the department level. What terrific drivel. She is goose-stepping, and so are all of those who find anything at all to admire about ICE. Its mandate is conceived from thinking that is both stupidly utopian and anti-American. I pray that its demise comes quickly, and I pray that all those who have labored on behalf of ICE will one day feel the conviction of shame, repent of their wrongs and join the rest of us as friends and neighbors.
Posted by: Marsguero | Nov 5, 2008 8:39:28 PM
I was in these jails, I brought my case to the attention of Julie Myers, and was then 'made illegal' held without medical or recourse to legal help, then deported to the UK after TWENTY YEARS as a US Tax payer. I am sure that if a thorough investigation of her office was held, they wouldnt know what to prosecute first. Probably the dead bodies that show up in Mexico, the drug cartel mules that were caught, then coerced/persauded to testify against the cartels in return for an S-Visa, unfortunately after they testified, they were dumped in these jails and summarily deported....but no Govt entity or individual will ever have the courage to match those bodies fingerprints to the S-Visa applications...chances are, like my immigration file, it has all been destroyed.....
Posted by: Josieg66 | Mar 17, 2009 9:07:43 AM
By Ruben Botello, JD
The U.S. ‘war on terror’ launched after September 11, 2001 has created serious social, political and economic problems for U.S. Latinos. Most of these problems stem from stricter enforcement of federal immigration laws, new legislative action to further reduce the number of immigrants in the U.S., and more racial profiling, vigilantism and hate crimes against Latinos.
Local, state and federal lawmakers have joined this nationalist movement against Latinos, in particular, by outlawing equal employment, housing and educational opportunities, bilingual education, Latino Studies, and other basic programs established during the Civil Rights Era, to raise living standards for Latinos and other historically impoverished, exploited and oppressed U.S. Minorities. Some lawmakers are even seeking to outlaw Spanish and citizenship rights for children born in the U.S. of immigrant parentage.
Spanish-speaking Latinos are the majority population of the Americas and Caribbean, about 650 million including around 52 million in the U.S, today. Latinos are not a singular race, nationality or ethnic group. Latinos are a blend of every race, color, language, culture, nationality, ethnicity, religion and creed in the world, and the largest U.S. Minority (16%), living among other Minorities (19%) and a White Non-Latino majority of mostly English-speaking Anglo-Americans that constitutes about 65% of the total U.S. population.
Most U.S. Latinos are bilingual, and Spanish language usage is second only to English, in North America. Most U.S. Latinos are also bicultural (assimilated), and have thus been able to help improve relations between the Anglo-American majority and the larger majority of Latinos throughout the Americas and Caribbean via direct participation in U.S. government, politics and institutions.
As mentioned above, relations have worsened between Latinos and the U.S. government since 9/11. U.S. Latinos are helping repair this damage to some extent, but what the entire Americas and Caribbean Islands really need is an international body of its nations, states and territories wherein all the good citizens of these sovereignties can lawfully live, work, study, travel and conduct business and commerce much more freely.
Instead of band-aid approaches to the immigration problems its sovereignties face, this region of the world needs an American Union (AU) similar to the European Union (EU) that helped end the serious conflicts and hostilities between the EU’s member nations that led to World War II.
Several countries from the Americas and Caribbean (the Rio Group) are already working with the EU, today. Unfortunately, the U.S. is not involved in this promising development.
The Rio Group is an international alliance of sovereign states in the Americas and Caribbean including Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela. Also known as the “Community of Latin American and Caribbean States” (CELC), the Rio Group meets with the European Union every two years on a ministerial level.
U.S. Latinos -- about eight percent (52 million) of the total Pan-American and Caribbean Latino population (est. 650 million) -- stand between the Anglo-American majority in the U.S. (est. 202 million) and the much larger Latino majority outside the U.S. (est. 598 million). Most Anglo-Americans may not be eager to form an American Union, in partnership with all the Latin American and Caribbean states, and most Latinos outside the U.S. may not be eager to form such a Union with the U.S., either.
Nevertheless, imagine the precious freedoms good citizens of all these countries can gain, to be able to lawfully live, work, study, travel and do business and commerce throughout an American Union like the EU’s good citizens are now free to do in Europe. Imagine the decrease in social, cultural, political, economic and military conflicts between AU nations, as now experienced by the EU nations despite their horrendous battles during World War II.
Is a much more peaceful, just and cooperative state of international relations worth establishing, in the Americas and Caribbean? Presently, several U.S. policies toward Latin America seem to be in preparation for war, what Europe was experiencing, as its nations were being dragged into World War II.
Hundreds of millions of Latinos face tremendous barriers and obstacles to better lives including violent crime, high unemployment, slave wages, extreme poverty, illiteracy, hunger, homelessness, sickness and disease. They do not need nor deserve to be exposed to more violence, death and destruction.
Multitudes of desperate Latinos are forced into the underground economy (black market) to stay alive, including drug and human trafficking, sex slavery and gang warfare, and much of this crime spills over national borders, in all directions. As a Union, the nations, states and territories of the Americas and Caribbean could work together instead of against each other, to tackle and resolve these problems once and for all.
U.S. immigration policy under the present Democratic Party administration is primarily directed, at finding, arresting and deporting undocumented immigrants, and at making it more difficult for immigrants especially from Mexico, to enter the U.S. regardless of why they come. Latinos can only expect more of these hostile actions and worse, as Republicans grow stronger in Washington, DC.
A major policy change is needed, an alternative to the anti-immigrant policies and practices of the U.S. and other regional governments, to improve relations between the U.S. and the rest of this vast region of the world. An American Union is the change Latinos and Non-Latinos need, in order to overcome the very real problems confronting the almost billion people, in the Americas and Caribbean, today.
The immigrant-bashing and empty rhetoric heard across the nation about “immigration reform” only serve to maintain the status quo. Like a broken record, the daily repetition of this wordage breeds more hatred, contempt and hostilities against Latinos, citizens and non-citizens alike.
The only real and meaningful alternative to this endless international conflict, at least as it pertains to the Americas and Caribbean, is an American Union similar to the European Union that has already proven sovereign nations can work well together for their common interests despite their differences.
Posted by: Ruben Botello | Jul 8, 2011 5:42:30 AM